Discuss the role that dreams play in the novel and explain why they are important to the plot and themes
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Dreams are always a part of Ishmael's conscience. They guide him, sooth him and most often they terrify him,
"One night i dreamt that i was shot in the head. I was lying in my blood as people hurriedly walked past me. A dog came by and began licking my blood ferociously. The dog bared its teeth as my blood sweetened its mouth. I wanted to scare it away, but i was unable to move. I woke up before it started what I was afraid it was going to do to me. I was sweating and couldn't sleep for the rest of the night"(103).
Dreams are the manifestations of Ishmael’s reality. He always seems one step away from death. He is in continuous conflict in his dreams. Sometimes he is pushing a wheelbarrow with dead people in it and sometimes he is running for his life. Ishmael's dreams are a reminder of the precarious line between life and death. He must be a survivor when he is awake and when he is asleep. I suppose, in the end, dreams (good or bad) help us make sense of the world; Ishmael is no exception.
A Long Way Gone